Wait A Minute, Is Chocolate Even Considered A Candy?

Has someone ever asked you what your favorite candy is? And if you answered "chocolate" or a type of chocolate bar, how long did it take you to realize that it might be a controversial answer? Well, there's a reason for this confusion, and that's because chocolate bars like M&M's, Snickers, Twix, Crunch, Reese's, and Kit Kat taste distinct when compared to candies like Skittles, Swedish Fish, Sour Patch Kids, Jolly Rancher, Nerds, and Twizzlers. If they taste so categorically different, can those sweet treats still all be considered candy?

Well, the definition of candy, according to Merriam-Webster, is "a confection made with sugar and often flavoring and filling." However, the Streamlined Sales Tax Governing Board defines candy as "a preparation of sugar, honey, or other natural or artificial sweeteners in combination with chocolate, fruits, nuts or other ingredients or flavorings in the form of bars, drops, or pieces." The governing board also states that any product that contains flour shouldn't be considered candy, as well as any food product that requires refrigeration. Therefore, it's safe to assume that sweetened chocolate can be considered a candy, after all. But it's important to note that, according to this definition, chocolate bars like Kit Kat and Milky Way can't be considered candy because they contain flour, which is why there has been discussion about modifying the definition.

When is chocolate not considered a candy?

Not all chocolate-based products are considered candy, however. For starters, in some countries, sweetened chocolate bars aren't even considered candy but are referred to as chocolate confectionery, meaning that the definition of candy depends on where you're based. But in the United States, chocolate-based products — which are the ones that have cocoa beans, butter, or powder in the ingredient list — that don't have added sugar aren't generally regarded as candy.

Other chocolate-based foods appear to meet the definition of candy but aren't. For example, there's chocolate spread, like Nutella, which has sugar as its main ingredient and isn't a candy. Other sugar-based food products, such as chocolate fondant, for example, are often used to prepare candy but aren't considered part of the candy family. If you don't know what fondant is, it's often used to decorate cakes and can be either liquid or in dough form; it's not considered a candy since it isn't consumed in the form of bars, drops, or pieces. Same for ganache, a mix of chocolate and cream that is commonly used to fill candies but isn't typically eaten on its own as a confection.

Do people on the internet think chocolate is a candy?

Something that people can always count on the internet to provide are different opinions. On Reddit, users have discussed for years whether or not chocolate can be considered a type of candy. In 2018, one Redditor wrote, "I have been in an argument nearly my whole life with my family if chocolate is candy or not." To that, other users responded with their takes. "I consider chocolate candy but I can't explain why," someone wrote. "I think chocolate falls under the umbrella of 'sweets' like chocolate cookies and cake. But when I say that I want some candy, I'm thinking of Sour Patch Kids and Skittles," another person added.

In another Reddit thread, one person wrote that they don't consider chocolate to be candy because, in their opinion, candy should only include sweets that have a fruity or sour taste. "I'm from the U.K., chocolate is chocolate, sweets are sweets," another user responded. Someone else disagreed, writing, "To me, candy is anything that's made out of sugar." This confusion is common among sweets lovers from the U.S. and the U.K. In a TikTok video, a transnational couple tried different treats and categorized each one as either chocolate or candy. The American considered everything candy, while the Brit classified some as candy and others as chocolate.